Black Girl Gamers (BGG) will launch its first ever online gaming summit, formed entirely of black female professionals within the gaming industry, on Saturday June 13 at 7PM GMT/2PM EST/4AM June 14 AEST.
There will be giveaways, panels, and a number of keynote speakers ready to delve into the worlds of voice acting, streaming, and building and maintaining a brand within gaming.
BGG is a global age (and LGBTQIA+) inclusive multi-platform gaming community founded by UK influencer and author Jay-Ann Lopez as a response to her experience in the often hostile gaming community as a black woman.
It began as a small Facebook group in 2015 and now boasts a growing community of over six thousand members. It was created to be a safe space for black female gamers from all walks of life, and a platform for black women looking to break into the gaming and streaming industry.
BGGs run various events, including fundraisers, US and UK community meetups and also hosts a weekly roster of black female streamers who broadcast as part of the BGG stream team on Twitch.
Breaking new ground
Last year at the Facebook headquarters in London, BGG ran Gamer Girls Night In, a celebration of all things gaming and beauty for women, and it was the first all-female gaming event in the UK. It featured keynote speakers and panel discussions from the likes of TV presenter and journalist Elle Osili-Wood, esports commentator Julia Hardy and popular cosplayer Mimi The Nerd.
The event was hosted and co-produced by Jay-Ann Lopez (founder of Black Girl Gamers) and leading gaming, comics and anime content creator Nnesaga.
Black Girl Gamers summit
This year's Black Girl Gamers summit is in partnership with Twitch and will air on Twitch’s front page on June 13.
The panellists include black voice actors such as Cara Ricketts, the voice of Becky Bond in Titans and Xenia in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey - who will talk about the world of voice acting from the perspective of voice directors and actors in the industry.
Xmiramira, a streamer and Sims-modder who boasts 240,000 followers across various social media networks, will join a panel of other successful black female streamers to discuss their experiences and give their advice on navigating the streaming community.
There’ll also be esports commentators discussing the scene and what is needed to begin your journey into commentating.
The head of Diversity and Inclusion and the Chief Diversity officer at Riot Games will also be in conversation, as well as a panel dedicated to making your mark in the industry, which will include Ubisoft’s International product manager, Andrien Gbinigie
Most importantly of all, the first inaugural BGG Online Summit will be an opportunity for black girl gamers to gain valuable information on how to approach industries within gaming that they struggle to gain access to.
Although Black Girl Gamers is a female-only group, the summit will be hosted on Twitch’s front page for anyone to tune into, and will be a great way for others to learn something about the difficulties black women face in the gaming community, and to foster greater understanding between different gaming subgroups.
“The BGG Online Summit has been an idea of mine since 2019 but the timing was not right,” says Jay- Ann Lopez. “Its goal is to heighten the visibility of black streamers, voice actors and professionals in the industry with the focus being predominantly on black women. Panels and gaming events happen all the time but rarely allow these people to speak their truths or even be part of the conversation. In this Summit, the speakers are the conversation - they are getting the recognition they are owed if at least only from BGG."
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